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  • 2021 budget presented to council 

    A zero increase in property taxes was presented 

    The 2021 Operating and 2021 Capital Budget, 2022 to 2023 Operating Financial Plan, and 2022 to 2025 Capital Plan was accepted for information during the Nov. 24 Special Meeting of Council. 

    “We see this budget as being a very good news budget. The details, even with the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, and some of the economic challenges that have been faced in the community, we are able to present a budget that holds the line on taxes, and present a zero increase in property taxes for the coming year,” the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Bernie Morton said.

    “Two years, after much belt-tightening and efficiencies found, we were able to present a budget of a two per cent tax decrease, the year following, summarily, it was another two per cent reduction in the property tax requirement, this year we were able to hold the line,” he said.

    Currently, the city is working on two initiatives including the Level of Service Initiative, and the Asset Management Project.

    “Both of those initiatives, one focusing primarily on operating, and the other focusing on capital, if we were to make those direct connections to the budget will allow us to then move to priority-based budgeting,” Morton said.

    Through the Level of Service Initiative, council would determine the types of services that are provided, and the level of which they are provided.

    The Asset Management Program would find the best way to manage the city’s assets in a long-term fiscally responsible way.

    “We expect this will be the last type of budget that doesn’t have a large degree of Level of Service Initiative incorporated into it,” Morton said.

    Without the dedication of the Corporate Outcomes and Strategy Team (COST), the presented budget wouldn’t have been possible.

    “We were able to present that through our continued focus on efficiencies, we have completely restructured the entire organization to take away and break down the silos, we are also moving to align with council’s strategic plan,” Morton said.

    “We’ve had to remain nimble and resilient during COVID-19 in order to present this budget with its outcomes,” he said.

    Adding, “We have been focusing on enhancing our critical strategic awareness and thinking as we can provide the efficiencies and manage the organization in a better way and a more cost-effective way.”